I didn’t bother to watch the Chelsea versus Liverpool game. I already knew how the script would play out; Liverpool looking ropey, Chelsea not able to finish their dinner, a game in which Football365 has already labelled ‘El Sh*tico’ would be a waste of an evening. Of course I still wanted to know how the game panned out, so asked a couple of friends how the Scousers got on.

Not great, apparently.

‘They can be got at’, apparently.

But then I learn that he rotatefd six players and Vin Dijk didn’t play through illness and it becomes pretty clear to me: we won’t get the same Liverpool side that rocked up at Stamford Bridge last night, at Anfield on Sunday. Like I’ve said already a couple of times this week; let’s be ready to see a Harlem Globetrotters-style Liverpool team on their own soil.

But if we are going to somehow against the odds win this league, then we will have to do something at Anfield I figure. Because City look like they’re about to go on one of those annoying eight game winning runs and so we just have to keep matching them.

And by the sounds of it, we’re going to have to do it without Big Willy Saliba, who the noises amongst the press are that he won’t be ready for Anfield at the weekend. A big blow, a massive blow, because he has been an integral member of an Arsenal defence that away from home has conceded just nine goals away from home all season. I feel like the acceptance that he won’t play is something that I am now coming around to and the acceptance that Rob Holding is going to have his biggest test so far in the games he has played is becoming a reality. I just hope Big Bob has one of his Mertesacker Final type games, because that day he was brilliant alongside Big Per and I’d love it – Kevin Keegan style ‘luv it – if he could get himself a performance like that on Sunday.

I’m trying to make a case for it in my head too; I’m not his biggest fan, I don’t think he gives us anywhere near as much control as Saliba, but if surrounded by the right kind of players in the right kind of form around him, perhaps we can mitigate what we lose from not having Saliba alongside him.

Last season the scars that still exist are when Holding lost his head in the North London Derby and this weekend he’ll be going in to an equally fervent atmosphere. But last season we were a little more erratic as a team and added to that, we were a team that was having to be patched up to go in to that away North London Derby match. We played Cedric at right back, Holding was alongside a half fit Gabriel, a patched up Tomiyasu at left back and a team that was looking on its last legs. If I am going to try to look at this situation with the glass half full, Holding has a confident set of Arsenal players around him, he himself will have a ‘feel’ for the match a little bit given he’s now played in the last two Premier League matches as well as the bulk of the game at home to Sporting. So he doesn’t come in completely cold. Hopefully that stands him in good stead.

Hopefully too, we don’t get the same performance from Paul Tierney, who has been selected as the referee for the match, which might give Home bad memories from last season. Tierney was the one that awarded the Scum a soft penalty to kick them off in the NLD at the Toilet Bowl, before sending Holding off in the first half and pretty much making the rest of the game a non-event. He’s also the referee who didn’t send off Harry Kane after his horror tackle on Robertson last season at the Toilet Bowl when the Scum played the Scousers and I seem to recall Klopp having words about ‘it’s always you’, or something similar. So Liverpool and their fans won’t exactly be overjoyed with him as the referee.

But what we will need to see from Holding is his best performance of the season, because if I was Liverpool I’d be looking to target him straight from the off with runners off his shoulder. I suspect that to try to at least give the illusion of surprise and stop Liverpool from spending the next few games looking at how they can target our English centre half, Mikel Arteta will probably say in his press conference tomorrow (I’m assuming it’s tomorrow) that Saliba is a doubt but he’s not sure, but all the information I’m hearing is that there’s no way that Big Wilo starts.

We aren’t going to get the turgid Liverpool from last night. It’ll also be a Liverpool side with Robertson, TAA, Salah, Gakpo and Vin Dijk all with a week’s rest too. If we’re going to win this we’re going to have to do it with a Liverpool team ready to make a statement and with players rested for our arrival.

But if you’re going to win the biggest prizes you have to overcome the biggest of hurdles. Liverpool are the latest one and as scary as it is for me personally, my hope is that those Arsenal players are excited to get up there, show what they can do and – fingers crossed – finally deliver the goods.

Right, I think i’ll call a halt to today’s proceedings, and catch you all tomorrow with some more ramblings as we close down on one of the biggest and most difficult games of the season.

Catch you all tomorrow.